This post is dedicated to Richard S. from ALU in Toronto.
Our home in Washington is in a very quiet neighborhood; it’s both pitch black and very quiet by around 7pm every night. On top of this, Washington has an interesting approach to driveways; many homes don’t have a private driveway that connects directly to the road that the street is on, instead there’s often a shared driveway that serves several homes, so it’s not atypical to see three rows of homes back from a street, with a shared driveway. That’s how our home is; we are at the end of the driveway, down a rather steep slope, surrounded by trees and a ravine.
A couple of nights ago, I heard a noticeable bump/bang outside at around 1:00am – not very loud, mind you, but as I said there’s usually no noise whatsoever. As mentioned, you can’t see a thing without lights at night, so I just made sure the doors were locked, and went back to that blog post about those mobile devices. I didn’t hear anything further, so I wasn’t too concerned.
I didn’t notice it in the morning, but when Valerie came home she saw that a fence at the bottom of the driveway had been broken:
A whole section of the fence was missing, and one it’s vertical beams was even cracked. Vandalism? Seems unlikely, we’re too far out of the way, and it’s doubtful that someone would just wreck one section of the fence for fun. Large animals? Haven’t seem them around here, and doesn’t seem likely that they’d run through the fence either considering the drop off behind it. While the initial fixation was on the fence itself, as you glimpse what’s behind, all becomes clear…
Someone’s car had actually rolled all the way down the hill, through our fence, and into the ravine below. The initial fear when Valerie discovered the car was that someone might actually have been inside, though fortunately this was not the case – it appears just to have been a car that wasn’t parked properly. That’s extremely lucky, because it’s about a 15-20 foot straight drop from the edge of our home into the ravine below! Even more surprising, the car seemed to be almost entirely intact, when the physics of the situation seemed to suggest that the car should have fallen vertically and then topped over onto its roof! Apparently, it had enough momentum even after crashing through the fence to make things happen like those slow-motion shots you see in movies when cars go speeding off a ledge…
If you’re wondering why the small trees in the first picture were intact, well, so am I. Maybe they’ve just got some elasticity to them, but because I took this on Saturday morning (a little more than 24 hours after the actual incident), someone other than us may have put them back in the ground to prevent them from dying, after this whole thing was discovered. Equally amazing we went at 9:30am when I took the above picture, and when we came back 3-4 hours later, the car had been removed with no visible signs as to exactly how. I guess this highlights the importance of using your parking brake, and angling your wheels correctly on a hill!
Not quite as entertaining, but still funny, is Google Voice’s transcription of the voicemails that Valerie sent about this:
“This hey my friend. I don’t know if you notice but The. I sent in. Mahals. So what I’m saying that he wanted nothing to me and I guess the park. I guess part of the got broken. I think must have. So,somehow a renowned to ring to our friends, anyway. Give me a call. Bye bye.”
“Hey Mike, I actually i think i’ll crash you went all the way down to be at the Valley or whatever you call it a platform cards I guess it’s Yes there but I don’t see any but he’s there anyone well. Anyway, I don’tknow what to do, call me bye bye. “
The first message was about the broken fence; the second was on discovering that there was a car sitting in the ravine below. Usually Google Voice produces useful transcriptions, but these two were pretty darned confusing!